Roger McCune

Roger McCune 1/2008

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The topic for this article is “New Life from God”. This is a fun topic for me because it is about being forgiven of my unrighteous nature: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

My unrighteous nature has been stuff like, “hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissension, factions, and envy ... and the like” (Galatians 5:20-21). The Apostle Paul has assured us that through our faith in Christ we are able, “to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24).

It is true, I do experience a new attitude of my mind as a believer in Christ. In Galatians chapter 5 Paul lists what he calls the fruit of the Spirit. This list is most encouraging because it serves as a kind of benchmark for knowing the progress of my new life in God. “(T)he fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). So, if I sense that I was sarcastic to my wife, which I did not want, I can apologize and make a commitment to be kind to her. If I may say so myself, I think this is totally cool, a new attitude because of the grace of God.

I know that the fruit of God’s Spirit is growing in my person, and I am more readily able to move on to another of his expectations for believers. This particular expectation is equally challenging: “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you” (Romans 12:3).

This new attitude of my mind is paramount to be able to love another as I love myself. Jesus told his disciples, “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you” (John 15:9-12).

Perhaps the quality that makes it possible for my joy to be complete, is that it is now more possible for me to extend love to most anyone. Because there is now the love of Jesus existing in my soul, I want my life to be in conformity with this scripture in Colossians 3:12-14: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other, and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

When our sins are forgiven, our old self is put off; we experience the fruit of the Spirit, our attitudes reflect new life in Christ. This results in our knowing unity through love and joy in our New Life.

Roger McCune is the pastor at Thorp Community Church.

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